The main reason I started the site was the wish to have a single location where all my content could be stored. A location where I had editorial control over look and feel and could include information on any topic I liked. This seemed especially more pressing due to the mismanagement at the old forums like DAC and wings900. Plus I wanted to be able to expand my readership outside of those interested only in 1:400s and provide a historical resource. Lacking a huge photo repository of my own the 1:400 models were a good way to explore the history of the industry and wider world it has lived in.
I had been posting on the three main 1:400 forums (DAC, wings900 and DiMA) for a while but moving to Yesterday's Airlines made it easy to expand into the realm of Facebook. Nowadays I'm on 4 different collectors groups:
These have enabled me to reach a much larger audience, often of a different age range than the traditional forums. In addition I started a Twitter account (@Yester_Airlines) which has been a good way to link my posts to actual airlines and other non-model related aircraft enthusiasts, as well as I hope, the general public. So nowadays each of my blog posts goes out to 8 different places. Plus I have the flickr account and my youtube channel too.
One thing I have learnt quickly is that people are a bit lazy. Far more people click on the initial links in the forums than can be bothered to go the extra click and go to the website. Perhaps they're just not interested in the content. Oh well - there isn't much I can do about that.
Frustratingly, on Facebook especially, my posts get less likes than someone just posting a single random photo of something. That's disappointing considering the effort I put in to my blogs, but there's not much I can do about that either. Rather bizarrely this even translates to my pages. The fleet shots pages, which take me about 15 minutes to do each and have little info, get more hits than blog posts that can at times take several hours to write. I have to remind myself that I'm doing the site as much for me as anyone else!
Lastly it is clear from the stats that for most people history and older aircraft just don't rate. My blogs on props get a lot less hits than on jets and the newer the jet the more hits. To this I say broaden your horizons people - the world didn't begin in 2010 :) !!!
Despite my bitching above, the site has grown in popularity and is doing pretty well I think. Back in December the daily hit rate for the site was only between 2-300 page hits by about 30-70 unique individuals. That has changed quite a bit. Now in May the daily hit rate is between 550-800 and unique individuals ranges betwen 75-150 a day. The biggest daily number of hits was 870 and highest unique visitors was nearly 300.
You can certainly see the hits rack up from Twitter and the forums after a posting. Traffic wise initially unsurprisingly most traffic came from DAC. DAC is still a large traffic source (395 referrals in April) but was eclipsed by Google last month which is great because it suggests that my older blog posts are getting independent hits. Facebook comes third with about 300 hits a month and then wings900 and DiMA roughly tie on about 150 each. Twitter brings very much up the rear but that's more of a slowburn thing and my tiny 23 followers do include the ICAO and Airliner World.
The site has grown a lot larger than I thought at first. Originally just three areas (the blog, model airports and airliner dev) I added the Mould Reviews and Fleets sections after getting requests. the former has proved a little controversial but I try to be fair and honest and at least provide plenty of photos for people to make up their own minds. The Airliner dev section has taken a back seat recently as my publishing for Airliner World is using the material I had planned, but it will get updates with content following the articles being published.
Above all the site has given me the opportunity to make new friends and contacts, like Corey and Nathan, which has been great. I would like to end by personally thanking everyone who visits the site. I hope you enjoy the content and look forward to adding new areas in the future.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: